Tide Tastes: Fish Face Takeaway and Restaurant

Tide Tastes: Fish Face Takeaway and Restaurant

Only dead fish swim with the stream.

Author: Sarsby Martin
Published: December 16, 2018

Businessman, highly qualified chef and family man, Craig from Fish Face is your Gordon Ramsay of Esperance. Hailing Tuesday to Sunday, wife and business partner Darliah tweaks the menu and special board to the local catch of the day, for every second vegan to seafood lover, there’s something for everyone. A slice of Esperance, with or without scales. Professionals in the industry, Craig’s wait staff and cooks work in harmony alongside each other to deliver the best service to anyone who chooses to dine-in or takeaway.

The Tide team asked Craig and his team a few questions to get an insight into the level of work that goes into every meal, every time, Fish Face’s work ethics and furthermore what keeps people coming back over and over again. Here’s what the experts had to say.

What are some of your morals and work ethics, and do they mirror the quality of food and service at Fish Face?

My personal morals and work ethics reflect my professional career and business work practice. Such a deeply personal and complex question by to abbreviate, I would say is ‘being fair and honest’ to yourself and others underpin what we do. I push myself and staff to offer consistency and a quality I would eat and expect at that price and point. When we first traded and were looking for our business model there was only a handful offering ‘Australian only’ seafood. We were going out on a limb as most associate ‘fish and chips’ shops (not my label!) as a cheap dinner. If I buy it and think it will send, I’ll give it a go.

Craig, how long have you been in the food industry for?

I have been in the industry for 34 years, beginning my apprenticeship in 1983 and have been an owner/operator for 13 years.

Is there something about living by the ocean that compliments your career?

I have lived by the ocean all my life, diving and fishing with family and friends. As an ocean lover, I’m a keen advocate for sustainability in how much we take from the ocean and how we use it! It’s integral to my peace of mind and sanity and gives me strength.

Working the tail end of the day, do you leave yourself plenty of time to prep?

At times I’ll be working until 1am although we tend to prep earlier in the day. Sometimes 10-11am but usually 12-2pm, trying to keep the food simple and fresh.

Working in a fast-paced environment, what are the tactics you teach your cooks and wait staff to handle the buzzing atmosphere? ‘Go hard or go home…’?

To survive at our restaurant and in most kitchens/restaurants, you need to be able to handle pressure, so speed and composure are traits we look for as is being able to multitask. I like your ‘Go hard or go home’–I think I’ll bank that!

I don’t see us as innovators but push for flavour driven. Combinations that offer something different that gives choice. I think we at Fish Face as a team can hold our heads high. Not boastfully but respectfully.

Lastly, what’s your favourite fish to eat?

Deep sea Hāpuku, which is not usually caught locally. And a close second would be deep sea Leather-Jacket (known as Butterfish on our menu).

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